November 03, 2004
Well, At Least Obama Won
Let's just say that I'm very glad that I won't have to deal with a daily dose of U.S. politics for most of next year, when I'll be in Russia.
Update: For still more on Obama, check out this new Washington Monthly article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells. And here's an article on the Kenyan reaction to Obama's win. Posted by Ed at November 3, 2004 07:36 AM
Obama won, but Alan Keyes won over a quarter of the vote. That's more than the guy (who I never heard of) running against our own Daniel Inouye in a state that almost went for Bush.
Maybe I'm being naive, but I'm not overly concerned by Keyes's showing. (He got 38% of the vote when he ran for the Senate in Maryland, after all, though he may not have been quite as radical a figure then.) Part of his showing, I'm sure, was from very conservative Republicans--Illinois has run its share of ultraconservatives in primaries for governor and Senator (causing a lot of problems for the party), and these voters came out in force for Keyes. I don't think they grew in number, though. Keyes also presumably got votes from people who didn't like him, but who thought that Obama was too liberal--people who might not have voted for Keyes if he actually had a shot at winning.
Moreover, one of the main criticisms of Obama is that he's too ambitious: he hurt his reputation a few years back with an unsuccessful run for the House, and he's sometimes said (fairly or unfairly) to be a little too pleased with himself about his newfound attention. There's already a lot of talk, in certain circles, about a 2008 Obama campaign--which, as much as I like the guy, strikes me as premature and silly. I'm sure that there were Republicans who voted for Keyes, with misgivings, because they felt like no candidate should be able to take his victory for granted. There's something to that argument.
What I'm really concerned about is the outcome in the open Senate seats: Tom Coburn is one of the most terrifying public figures I've ever seen. But I'm sure we agree on that...